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Thread: Time to invoice

  1. #1
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    Time to invoice

    This is always the best part of the job ...

    You arrived on site at 8:47:30 am you left the site at 13:27:40.

    The customer made a note of time of arrival and departure ... when he/she opens the PDF invoice they are expecting to see 4 hours labour and R12345.67 for material.

    they dont expect to see an amount for travelling to and from site ... nor the hour it took you to get there ... just the hours on site and an amount for material.

    I dont blame them ... because the uneducated tradesman business owner who still hasnt figued out that if you own a business you need to think like a businessman and make a profit ... you not just trying to improve your hourly rate you earned as a tradesman ... and shyte costs money.

    That van that you are driving had to be bought and paid for ... the thing has to be serviced ... you have to fill it with petrol and insurance and etc etc etc.

    So let me help everyone understand and share what is involved in doing a 4 hours job.

    The phone rings ... someone has to answer it.

    A job card is created (install a small DB with an ASC ... a couple lights and a plug)

    a visit to site to view what is required ... a sketch and a few measurement.

    back to the office to plan the job.

    then a list of materials must be created and ordered ... either collected or delivered to your workshop.

    So what I do is lay everything out on the table make sure we have everything .. some of the equipment will already be in the van (glands/lugs/screws etc) a quick stock check just to make sure.

    Pre wire the DB ... drill the holes and label the DB.

    Drill the holes in the lights and fit the glands.

    Make sure the gas gun is fully charged so that the saddles can be installed.

    Laser batteries are charged.

    Then we still have to stop to get a cold drink and something to eat because for some reason electrician and semi skilled dont seem to make lunch in their own time ... then the garage to fill up with fuel ... then stop at the wholesaler to collect the 2 glands you short ... then eventually you head to site ... 4 hours later job is complete and you leave site ... and that is because you are so efficient ... generally a DB a plug and a couple lights take more than one day.

    We wont add in the trip back to the wholesaler because you forgot to get insulation tape.

    Head back to the office to hand in your service sheet so that the admin can invoice and email the invoice.

    We wonder why more than 70 % of businesses fail within the first 5 years and 98 % within 10 years.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    Dylboy (20-Nov-21)

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    The part that blows my mind ... you go to all that trouble ... super efficient and make the job neat and pay attention to detail ... the customers whines about the bill.

    the fence guy arrives slaps 2 clips on a 4 m long pipe right at the entrance to the house ... jobs looks like crap wires all over the place ... the bottom of the energiser has exposed high voltage wires ... you point it out to the customer and his response "thats just how they do the job" but already paid his bill ... you being grilled over your silly 4 hour invoice.

    We as contractors have created this mess for ourselves.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Mmm, me thinks that an invoice be issued to quote, with payment before issuing quote.
    There after a quotation issued for the job, in which you have calculated the time you expected and materials to do the job.

    Now 2 things on this quote :-
    1) Do not itemize the exact materials to do the job, - they will pass this on to the unskilled cheapie electrician
    2) In the case the quote is accepted, the charge for the quote will be discounted off the invoice. ( Psychology in play - Customer will feel better getting a discount rather charging less on the invoice)

    Wasting time doing quotes and not getting the job because we are too expensive is another way of loosing money.
    Charging for the quote ensures the customer is serious. I now see that the panel beating industry charges for quotes now, because of the time to do the quote, in the past it was for free.
    We charge an hourly rate, but in the end the charge covers more than double our time to do the job so our hourly rate reduces dramatically, but the expenses remain the same per month.
    Detailed quotes allow the inexperienced to make money on the job because they did not spend time making and planning the quote.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar pumping, Solar Geyser & Solar Security lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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    MZOMUHLE (23-Nov-21)

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    What I now do is that I do not do a quote, but first offer a verbal expected budget cost.
    Depending on the reaction of the client, most times I find that the client does not have the budget.
    In the case the client does have the budget, only then do I do an official quotation.

    This has saved me countless hours.

    Maybe get the client to send you a video and a narration of what they need, will save you the trip. From this you have a pretty good idea of the estimated cost. Issue a verbal expected cost.
    If the client has the budget then go out to site.
    Also later you can use the video as evidence when the client says that you missed something.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar pumping, Solar Geyser & Solar Security lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    What I now do is that I do not do a quote, but first offer a verbal expected budget cost.
    Depending on the reaction of the client, most times I find that the client does not have the budget.
    In the case the client does have the budget, only then do I do an official quotation.
    It goes like this:
    "How much are the glasses?"
    "R1500"
    ...if the client doesn't flinch...
    ...add "for the lenses"
    ...if the client doesn't flinch...
    ...add "plus R1000 for the frame"
    ...if the client doesn't flinch...
    ...add "plus R400 for the consultation"
    ...if the client doesn't flinch...
    ...add "plus R700 for the tinting"
    ...if the client doesn't flinch...
    ...add "plus R100 for the case"
    ...if the client doesn't flinch...
    ...add "plus R120 for the cleaning cloth"
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    What I now do is that I do not do a quote, but first offer a verbal expected budget cost.
    Depending on the reaction of the client, most times I find that the client does not have the budget.
    In the case the client does have the budget, only then do I do an official quotation.

    This has saved me countless hours.

    Maybe get the client to send you a video and a narration of what they need, will save you the trip. From this you have a pretty good idea of the estimated cost. Issue a verbal expected cost.
    If the client has the budget then go out to site.
    Also later you can use the video as evidence when the client says that you missed something.
    On a serious note I agree with this!
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    Gold Member Derlyn's Avatar
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    Hi All

    I keep it simple.
    Quote has 3 items.

    1. Services R ??
    2. Consumables R??
    3. 60/40 cash terms.

    I then keep an eye on my account.
    When 60 % commissioning fee appears, I buy the consumables and organize access to do the job.

    Works for me.

    Peace out .. Derek.

  10. #8
    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derlyn View Post
    Hi All

    I keep it simple.
    Quote has 3 items.

    1. Services R ??
    2. Consumables R??
    3. 60/40 cash terms.

    I then keep an eye on my account.
    When 60 % commissioning fee appears, I buy the consumables and organize access to do the job.

    Works for me.

    Peace out .. Derek.
    But you still have to go to site to check the scope of works, this costs time and effectively money, since you sell time/your services.
    The discussion here is how to avoid the tyre kickers/time wasters.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar pumping, Solar Geyser & Solar Security lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

  11. #9
    Gold Member Derlyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    But you still have to go to site to check the scope of works, this costs time and effectively money, since you sell time/your services.
    The discussion here is how to avoid the tyre kickers/time wasters.
    You right, brother.

    90% of them are sorted out telephonically even before a sight visit.

    It isn't 100% successfull, but most of the time.

    Derek

  12. #10
    Gold Member Derlyn's Avatar
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    Telephone tactics.

    Following my previous post I thought it would maybe be of interest to someone if I shared how telephone skills and the way one uses a telephone has worked for me.

    For ten years I commuted between East London and Johannesburg weekly. ( Once each week )
    My mission was to buy cars in Johannesburg and sell them in East London. ( Rust free )

    I also decided that I would never buy a car from a car dealer. Only private. I had to cut out the dealer's profits.
    Those were the days before internet and Google were around.

    Telephonically, I had to find out quickly whether the seller was a car dealer without actually asking him/her. ( No time wasting )

    Now what do you think my first question was ?

    I'm phoning in connection with the car that has been advertised.
    I'f the response was " which one ? " then I'd end the call abruptly.
    I mean, how many private sellers are selling more than 1 car at a time ?

    For ten years I bought privately and my competition in East London never knew how I did it.
    Junkmail was what did it, and my telephone skills.

    Then along came internet, Gumtree, Autotrader and killed that one.

    Today in my Electrical Contracting business, the phone is also vital for saving time.

    I am direct.

    Will you be paying cash or by eft? I always ask this question during my first call with a new client.
    The prospective client then knows that I'm in it for the money.

    This usually get's rid of about 60%.
    I don't need them and don't want them. Goodbye.

    We now work with the rest who are serious and are going along quite nicely.

    Peace out ... Derek

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